IT’S HAPPENED!

Dare I Say, I’ve had an epiphany!

I had a profound moment and it was jolting. I thought to where I could announce this ah-ha moment, if not to my journal, and it took me a fair minute to realize what I have sitting right in front of me the whole time.

As I was using the Earth’s force of gravity to pull myself into a self-unwinding session, I was paying close attention to the emotions and imagery going through my head swiftly and I quickly realized I had to start writing something down before I lost gold once again. That tends to happen.

A trusted Guide was instructing me to come to view each of my passions as hobbies or career choices. I have a weakness in my creative mind for wanting to turn everything into a business. Totally annoying, I am sure, but constantly inspiring nevertheless! As my heart ached, letting go of a dream to make a business out of one of my hobbies, I rejoiced in the fact knowing I can still do it and have fun; I just no longer need to stress myself out about whether or not I am making a successful choice for myself.

I am checking things off left and right, and I come to a sudden freeze when I get to Planet Zynnia. My blog. My sweet, sweet blog that my beloved friend surprised me with the domain so many years ago. He still supports me in this blogging journey and couldn’t have chosen a better domain. He’s fantastic. Y’all should check him out actually, at devannielsen.com

I love this blog. It’s my precious gem. My diamond in the ruff. A place where you can come to and read brutal honesty from different categories. Reading words from an Author who intentionally encourages you to get uncomfortable with your bubble and think outside the box, challenging beliefs and raising questions in and around awareness. It feels invigorating to come here and be blown away at some of these articles. Others are softer… kinder… a bit more gentle on the awakening process. That’s what my site is all about.

TO EXPECT THE BEAUTIFUL AND UNEXPECTED.

I intend to put everything out there with Love. I don’t have time to tear anybody down with hatred, insults, or crude notions. That is not me, nor why I’m here. I will however, cuss and have my moments of outrage of insincerities if I need to. I haven’t published anything this year, because I’ve been struggling with writer’s block as well as feeling the pressure to not publish anything that may capture the attention of my LDS family or anyone else for that matter who isn’t prepared to read my blog, as well as not feeling support from friends and my boyfriend when it comes to reading my blog and participating in the comments or discussions. I will say things a lot of people aren’t ready to hear. And that is something I have been fighting with for a while.

I’ve come to realize, it’s all a bunch of bullshit in the end and if it makes me happy, I need to be okay with publishing something that may offend somebody else. Because after all, if I write what everyone wants to hear, I may never be satisfied. But if I am writing what I want to share with everybody, I am always happy I put it out there. These roads will twist and turn, but it is to thine own self, we be true! (Shout out to Shakespeare)

So Hi again. I am sorry for being a hidden asshole.
What I want to know from all of you is: What is something you have always loved to do, but no longer make the time for? Does it overwhelm you just by thinking about it? What made you stop and do you ever intend to pick it back up again? & most importantly, what is your happiness level with/without this hobby?

I look forward to chatting with you in the comment section below!

Peace of I,
Zynnia

One Session Will Never Be a Cure-All

First off, there are quite a bit of known misconceptions about how the treatment plan of Massage Therapy works. Today we are going to be discussing the concept of session length, and why massage is not a one-session cure all like many people think. As massage therapy continues to grow in the Healthcare industry, more and more people are beginning to learn and understand the physiological benefits, on top of the relaxation factor; which is a big deal in the US, considering we have the longest work hour week and lowest amount of paid days off than any other country. Needless to say, getting a soothing massage to relax is just as important as any other medical necessity. It’s been the main reputation maker of massage in North America for the last forty years, but slowly breaking out of the ‘luxury’ word association and giving people more of a reason to get on the table instead of seeing massage as just a luxury.

Note: MASSAGE IS NOT JUST A LUXURY

Massage should be seen as a regular upkeep on one’s health preventative maintenance. Our goal is to help you stay out of the doctor’s office for reasons other than broken bones or serious illnesses, etc. Massage and everything it comes with, is a lifestyle.

For those of you who get your one massage a year, or leap year, and always ask to get bone-deep work on your x, y, and/or z knot….. stop doing that to yourself! Please! You are only worsening the issue.

Contrary to the common uneducated and more importantly, uncorrected belief, a therapist should not sit back and start digging into your muscle compartments, just because they want you as a client and because you sound adamant about what you want. They should not let you tell them that you believe the more painful it is the better it will be, even though you don’t get regular bodywork, and they should not be determined to fix your problems.

1.WE DO NOT FIX, we facilitate the body’s innate abilities to heal itself. We provide for you, tools and resources you will need in order to maintain your good health-standing in between sessions in order to get you on comfortable and effective habitual journey to living a pain-free life. 

2.YOUR THERAPIST SHOULD BE EDUCATING YOU when you have that first session with them. When you request for them to go in so deep and to make it painful because you think that pain is the only way you have formed to believe change will be created, you are wrong on multiple levels.

 

I don’t want you to be wrong. I don’t want to be right. I want you to be educated and I want to share my knowledge with you. You deserve to know what we know. You aren’t just a client, you are a human being with an obligation to take care of your body in every way you possibly can and you have only been taught that massage makes you feel better. Nobody ever expects to leave a session with homework, but they come in expecting to be fixed. But how will you grow and become more aware and have your issues fixed if you are not doing your part? We want you to grow. We aren’t here to be a crutch, but instead, to be a helping guide. Our duty is to work with you. We help you during sessions, we enlighten you on what our observations and insights are, and we ask you intuitive questions that we believe will further help us get to the root cause and continue building a healthy and productive protocol that properly outlines a treatment program.

The key word here is program. Think of this like an exercise regimen. We do not go to the gym or buy the P90X home videos and workout one time and gain the results we are looking for. We have to make a commitment to the workout program. We have to discipline ourselves and make time in our busy lives to dedicate to our health every. single. day.

When you make massage a part of your life, you adopt a mindset of optimal healthy living throughout every day. You vow to become more aware of your lifestyle habits – like eating better and developing a more creative, colorful, and nourishable diet; taking care of your posture by allowing your body to be comfortable in ergonomic positions (like the positions it was made to be comfortable in); and lastly, your mental habits of thoughts! When you are living a healthy lifestyle and getting professional massage relief from your injuries, dysfunctions, and ailments, you are taking back command of your life!

Homework is another super important part to this whole thing: you should be having more than one session, because your therapist should be clearly outlining a perspective with you, while giving you resources and tools (like stretches and exercises to research, re-patterning techniques, postural awareness tools, and even some fun facts about the body) to use at home in between sessions. Homework is what keeps you accountable and motivated to get out of pain. Homework given and homework done is a body more able, more flexible, and more durable than it was a session before.

One massage therapy session will never be a cure-all to your injuries or dysfunctions or stress, but you can make a positive difference towards your health journey by making the most of the information your therapist gives you, and applying it to the fullest.

 

Happy Healing,

Zynnia

Whose Hurry Is More Important?

To get to my home, there is a light you must go through from under a freeway bridge, where the two lanes merge into one as it takes you through the dark and narrow windy road.

I was on that road tonight, coming to the bridge where I knew the light would be green, as it always is at night. Among the two lanes, I was in the left lane and the van in front of me was going slow enough, I could have passed it from the right lane if I wanted to, barely cutting it close to the merging part of the lane….

Instead, I took my foot off the gas pedal and chose to stay behind the van. After all, passing them would only save me, what? One entire minute out of the ten minutes I had left of my journey?

It got me asking myself, “Am I really in that big of a hurry? How does everybody’s hurry compare to the next person’s rush? Who actually has the bigger rush and what are we willing to sacrifice just to get somewhere we all have to be?”


photo credit: Susan Henderson

Physiologically, the act of rushing ourselves increases our stress levels and dilates our blood vessels, which puts us into sensory overload, giving us the ‘Fight or Flight’ syndrome. With that much adrenaline in that short amount of time, our thoughts become irrational and our mood plummets entirely and we enter a state of selfish, primal instinct. That kind of mindset, if you are in a car, can put somebody in severe danger if you aren’t the kind of person who handles stress or impatience well. Are you willing to sacrifice that person’s life as well as yours by causing a car accident because you’re going way over the speed limit and driving recklessly?

Are you in such a hurry to get out of the coffee shop or the gas station to beat the morning traffic that you can’t seem to pause for the extra five seconds to hold the door open for someone else coming in or out?

Do you notice how sometimes, the more you are stressed about making it to your destination “with just not enough time” actually causes more roadblocks in your way? At this point, you must ask yourself, “Is my stress about being in a hurry going to get me to my destination safely and any faster than I would be getting there even if I was calm and possibly still in a hurry?”

If you don’t want to be in a hurry – get your day started earlier. It’s that simple.
And if you’re going to be in a hurry – don’t try, but do cultivate a sense of patience and put it to use. If you don’t want to get up any earlier and you want to always leave at the same time, and you’ve accepted the fact that maybe you’re just comfortable being in a hurry – then why are you still letting it stress you out to the point of dangerous, threatening, irrational, and illogical anger?
Wouldn’t you be your better self if you just accepted the fact that you are going to be in a hurry and make the journey fun for yourself anyway?

I sing loudly and dance freely in my car to my radio. Yeah, I’m that guy”. I think I am THE American Idol when I am driving. I used to have massive road rage and cuss up a storm when I would hit traffic and road blocks, but I find the more I accept that the World will be the World, I turn my radio up and I sing my heart out and I allow myself to laugh – at anything. If I get frustrated, I laugh at how ridiculous it is if I let myself get upset over something I can’t control, which is actually pretty funny if you think about it. Are you actually getting upset due to something personally affecting your emotions on a deep level or are you just upset because you can’t control the way you’re reacting to the events outside of your own life and reality?

My suggestion: figure out what works best for you and start doing it immediately. And the next time you are in a hurry to get somewhere; determine the length of your rush and how much more important it is than everyone else’s. Then ask yourself how many other people around you at the moment in time are probably in their own form of hurry also. Do you think your rush is more important than theirs? Do they think their rush is more important than yours?

The best part of this all, is when you take a big deep breath and succumb to the realization that nobody’s rush is more important than anyone else’s, you will exhale and understand you’re not really in a hurry at all. You will get to wherever you have to be when you get there. And if you have a feeling you may be in rush the next morning, you’ll develop a deep love for morning sunrises.

Goodnight y’all.

The Windy Road of Dreams and Obtainment of Accomplishments

We all want what we don’t have. We hunger over something for so long, but once we obtain the treasure, the chase is over and our eyes are fixated on something new.

Being able to appreciate what you have without desiring what’s on the other side of the fence is something that most people can’t do for too long after they’ve fought so hard to get what it is they wanted in the first place.

Most of us self sabotage ourselves out of fear and denial of bad habits we refuse to fix; thinking neither of those are a component to dream chasing. We hear from family and friends, “You can do anything you want,” in one sentence and the next moment they are telling us, “That is far-fetched. You won’t be able to get there, but you can still be successful. Why don’t you just do x, y, and z?”

  

WHY CAN’T WE DO ANYTHING WE DREAM?
WHY CAN’T WE HAVE WHATEVER WE WANT?

Why are we unable to become a traveling nutritionist for a rock band or do surf yoga with Beyonce or become a worldwide published writer with our book written in 20 languages? Who said that we are forbidden from ever obtaining a million dollars or a pony or going into an ocean plunge full of feeding sharks in a steel tank?

People who are afraid of their own dreams – THAT’S who said we can’t. People who doubt their own abilities have a certain level of incapability to believe in other people. The ones who never tried everything possible to obtain their dream are the same ones telling you whatever it is you want is “too much work”. Unfortunately, they are the broken spirits who allowed themselves to believe the opinions of others that they would only get so far before they’d have to just ‘be happy’ with a settling plateau.

So, why bother?

You should be asking yourself, WHY NOT BOTHER? If someone out there is doing what you want to do then clearly, it’s obtainable. If you sold lemonade as a kid, then you already know you can produce a product and sell it to the public. If you have kept a diary your whole life and love to write, then you already know you have the ability to publish your writing. If you have taken pictures that people oogle at on social media and your photo albums, then you already know you can make art and show it to the World.

We have already done thousands, if not millions, of little things everyday that prove we have what it takes turn any dream, as tiny or far-fetched as we want, into reality.

Your first clue should be this: “I doubt I can make any money doing that” or “I doubt anyone would use this or like this or want this” or “That is so expensive, I won’t ever be able to buy/afford that” <—- those statements right there… do you see what’s happening?! When you have those thoughts, you are giving volume to the doubting mind. Your Inner Truth always knows what is real and what is fake and it’s there to help you stay on the life path you created before you were even born, believe it or not. The inspiration for the thought is really “People will love this and I am the one to create this and show it to the World” and “I can absolutely make the funds I need to in order to afford x, y, and z. It will take time and I have the patience for it. It is already mine and I’m just making room in my life so when it arrives, it will be perfect.”

We are just silly humans who make everything much more complicated than it needs to be and have made an evolutionary bad habit of creating our own disappointments and then exercising our audacity, pointing the finger as to why we haven’t made it to where we want to be or have the things we want in life. 

You must always believe you will get what you want, and furthermore, you must recognize the goodness that has been laid in your lap when you receive it.  

  

You have come this far and had one image on your mind to fuel your fire, push you through darkness and haul you across valleys and over mountains so you could make that image become reality. All the while, you have proclaimed your love for it, your need for it, and your starvation without it. You have made it known that this is what completes you and makes you a whole. That moment comes where you obtain what you’ve been striving to get for so long. And suddenly…. you feel unsatisfied. You’re left feeling hungry for more.

It’s natural for us to keep wanting more, however the problem with this is when the process isn’t done in gradual patient steps, we start to resent the things we do have. We forget why we wanted the original thing all along! We begin to feel suffocated and irritated and bored to exhaustion just from looking at them. Whether it’s people, cars, furniture, or gadgets, we break our backs to get what we want and rarely have it long enough to fall in love with it.

You can’t truly appreciate success until you’ve hit the rock bottom in your financial world and you can’t truly appreciate good love until you’ve had heartbreak. You must truly appreciate what you have and cherish it for everything it is and everything it’s not, because if you disregard it all together, it will be taken from you one way or another. The Universe is a power not to be undermined in its ability to give and take gifts of our mortal desires.

“I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” 

-W.C. Henley

 

Why We Tell You to Drink Water and Why We Mean It


 

If you have ever had a massage, there are great chances you have heard your therapist inform you at the end to, “remember to drink a lot of water…” and then any other following homework they have for you.

Now, let’s be honest here. How many of you are actually listening to our recommendations when we tell you to drink water? How many of you are having less than 60 oz. for the rest of the  night? How many of you are drinking at least 80 oz. the next day? How many of you drinking beer or wine that same night as your massage?

Hopefully not as many of you as I am thinking.

To not take us seriously when you hear us giving our professional recommendations, is only going to hurt your own health and well-being in the end. You will feel like you got hit by a truck for the next two days and then blame the therapist for “not being good enough because they hurt you after you specifically asked to not be in pain”, and those toxins will relocate themselves in a different weak spot in your body. Your toxins that just got worked out won’t finish flushing through your system if you’re not drinking at least 80 oz. of water for the next 48 hours following a massage, regardless if it was a light Swedish, Deep Tissue, or a “go so deep I could cry” session.

Think of your body as a pumping system. You are 75% water. By the time you are licking your lips – you are dehydrated. By the time you think, “I’m hungry” – you are dehydrated. And by the time you are drinking water – you are dehydrated. And when you are dehydrated, your pumping system gets full of stagnant, gloppy, sludge – trudging through your system, feeding your muscles and feeding your bloodstream with all that toxicity. The average recommendation of daily water intake is eight 8 oz. glasses. That is 640z. of life source your body needs to preform at an average functionality. If you are an active person, you better be hiking that number up. The more active – the more water. There’s no way around it. To drink less than that a day is internal body suicide. It’s selfish and ignorant to do so if you plan on having a long and healthy life.

When you listen to us and you are drinking a lot of water in the following 48 hours of your massage, you are creating a tsunami of rejuvenation and revitalization inside your vessel. You know those Draino commercials where it shows the clogged pipe first and then it shows the Draino being poured down the sink and it whooshes out the gunk leaving the drain sparkling and like-new? That’s what you are allowing your body when you are not just drinking water on a daily basis, but flushing your system out with extra water intake after a massage. All that gunk is JUST WHOOSHING right out of you! So stay close to a bathroom and keep some Kleenex near by, because your body is SICK AND TIRED of holding onto those toxins! And you should be, too!

It’s a simple process and one you should be excited to do. We are moving onward to a healthier mindset all across America. Health is the new black, but water has always been and always will be, in style. So drink it all the time! Make that your main drink, your drink of choice, and your favorite drink. Allow yourself to fall in love with water all over again and take it upon yourself to drink it on a daily basis, so when you do get a massage you can smile and say, “I can definitely do that.” and finish your complimentary water before you even leave the studio!


 

I hope this has helped! There will be more to come about good tips and tricks for your health, home remedies, and fun facts you probably never knew about small things before pertaining to your health. If you have any suggestions you want to hear about or are curious about, leave a comment below and I will make sure to write about it!

And as always, to get Planet Zynnia in the quickest way, subscribe with your email and have it delivered straight to your email inbox!

 

Regaining my life in new territory.

I was becoming exhausted just being in my own body. Another suffering cause was the fact that I hadn’t been giving attention to my hobbies due to the change in my life. Moving here had turned my world upside down. I started to feel suffocated in my own house, trapped by my chores, agonizing over the memories I missed so much from back home. It was tearing me apart. I looked at myself like a quitter. Giving up on my routine and my hobbies of gardening, belly dancing, kundalini yoga sessions, dog parks, making a big breakfast every morning, going to crystal shops, hiking, going to church, etc. I had stopped doing it because I didn’t know where any such places were. I was accepting the fact that the Towne Park a mile away was enough to suffice, because the few dog parks Danny and I did check out, the dogs were all aggressive. Giving up on hiking, realizing that this isn’t Utah, this is the woods. Giving up on gardening because I no longer had a yard to do it in and overestimated the cost for indoor plants. Giving up on yoga because the classes here were just so expensive. I had succumbed to my own mental prison and wide range of excuses. Work and dog walks is all I will be doing here,  I thought, trying to hold back my tears. I just kept breathing and praying for something to change. Please, anything to get me back to a state of well-being, I begged. When you stop doing what you love, you stop being the person you are and you allow yourself to lose your spirit, it not only affects yourself, but everyone around you. I started feeling sad, depressed, and irritable, out of the unhappiness I had felt within myself.

On a day like many others, I was cleaning our house and sleeping the floors and organizing the DVDs on the shelf and that’s when I saw it: The yoga DVD I had bought at a pawn shop last Autumn! I stared in disbelief as tears of relief swelled up in my eyes. It was when I stopped looking so hard and so desperately, that it came to me at the right time. The next day, I met a neighbor who lives 1,000 feet away from me. Cristyn’s dog is the same breed as Zai and six months older. They run, they play, and I had found comfort in someone with a very similar lifestyle to my own. A holistic yoga instructor with a Masters in Sports Psyche raised by a homeopathic, animal loving massage therapist. My soul was fed. The bond was cemented and a friendship was born.

One week after that, I go across the street to get Danny some slices of pizza to have ready for his return after a 12 hour day of work. The same manager who was working is the same fellow with whom Danny and I are acquainted with there. Making small talk with Kade, I tell him about the beach in Stamford and he recommends a secluded and quiet beach in Norwalk for me to try. I say, it’s expensive, but I’m sure one day on a special occasion, it will be perfect. He knows Zai, and throws in a few other recommendations. Stone Hill Road, off route 137 and 124 has a dog park that is a wooded trail. It’s quiet and in nature. There are creeks and it’s off leash, he says. And as an added bonus, tells me about Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, not even 10 minutes from my house! It’s a 5,000 acre piece of land where people take their dogs, horses, and go just to enjoy nature. Sometimes there are workout classes there or meditation classes. You can even go camping! Lakes and ponds everywhere. Lots and lots of hiking too. Maybe not like in Utah, but you can certainly venture there, he adds.

My salvation was returning and my depression was diminishing. 

I have accepted the fact, that I may not find a belly dancing class here for a while, but why should that stop me from belly dancing in the comfort of my own home? The same day I went to the Stone Hill Road dog park is the same day I stopped at the library and got a library card. One week ago, Danny bought me house plant. I am not just gardening again, but building upon my happiness that is growing and connecting to Earthly life inside the comfort of a home that has no outside options.

I have met four neighborhood dogs, with amazing owners who I now walk with everyday and our dogs play together. Amazing women of all ages.

My spirits are up and my mood swings are down. My happiness is much and my depression, very little. I have a hunger to do things now. I clung to Danny when I had nothing of my own and it had put a strain and pressure on our relationship that neither of us could escape. I was dependent on him to give me what my hobbies had given me. I didn’t know who was happier when these past few weeks have filled my life with my answered prayers! The strain has been lifted. Being with each other is a choice everyday that we make and it’s enjoyable to make it now. I no longer feel guilty for clinging to him for comfort and a way to be alive. He’s happy for me that I have regained my own life I once had. The life that he loved seeing me have, a free woman who flies by what drives her and interests that she puts her heart into, he says. That’s what made his eyes unable to be taken off of me.

My days are much different now. Filled with moments of care-taking and soul work. Ego releases and breath of fires consume me as I sway around my house cooking and cleaning and running with Zai, falling onto my yoga mat and exercising until I am swimming in sweat to then relax and read whether in my home or at the beach, taking the time to paint my nails and sugar scrub my body and research and write and smile and kiss the Sun every morning that I wake, with a profound sense of fulfillment that must be worked for in life.

I am happy and I am free from my mind’s solitary imprisonment.


 

It’s hard to move to a new place and feel like you’re losing your sense of routine and then feel helpless and succumb to the overwhelming sadness that fills the void. What makes us happy is just too damn important to disregard or make ourselves believe we can live without it. No matter what it is we love, we do it for a reason. It will take a moment to make a new life in a new place and to figure out where your hobbies and craft fit into the schedule of the new environment. It will take a moment to hunt down the places you love going to and finding replacements for the ones you miss.

Moving and rearranging your schedule, routine, and timing for things when you uproot and move to a new place are inevitable. But if it’s an event you think you might ever do, it’s best to prepare for it. Unlike myself, I figured I wouldn’t have a hard time with coping. And assuming that, was my biggest error.

So, first step: Prepare (even if you end up being fine)
Consider what will be different for a bit and what will be the same. Research ahead of time, nearby places that you like to go to and map out areas you will be in a lot. Develop a sense of time that you will spend driving or doing things in your new area.

Second step: Confide in somebody you can trust and be comfortable with. Let them know if you feel like there is something missing and it’s hard for you to sort out your emotions on your own, because, sometimes it is. It’s a time where we can become confused and disoriented.

Third step: Make a plan for the future on what your days will look like at best. Fill in the blank areas with that of which you love doing. Make it realistic and make it count. Don’t wait like I did and struggle with heavy emotions and irrational thoughts. The more you prepare for, the less will surprise you if it happens and the calmer you will be in dealing with it.

You will remain happy, because you did.

 

Deep Breathing Challenge – Day #30

I didn’t give an update for my last two weeks, because I didn’t really have one. I have noticed a lot in my first two weeks of this challenge and there are also some realizations I have accepted through the process. It’s been a deep growth period for me and one I have truly enjoyed to the fullest.

I no longer get lightheaded,

when I deep breathe for yoga or meditation. Now that my body is used to spending, roughly half, of the time deep breathing naturally, it is better able to accommodate those activities where deep breathing is involved.


 

I can run farther, faster.

My strides are long as if I’m seven inches taller. My body takes off and flies through the scenery. Coming from a hometown in high altitude and thin air, it was already one thing to experience such thickness in the air here; being so close to sea level. Deep breathing has given me back my power to match my breathing to the environment. I used to compensate my breathing when I ran here, unsure of how exactly to measure my breaths. Sometimes I would breathe a lot of faster and sometimes just a little too shallow. I now understand the rhythm and flow to serve my body the best functioning for runs, jogs, and now… hikes!


I’ve stopped craving junk food as often.  

It was cookies every single night, chocolate of some sort every day, skipping meals and craving chocolate of any kind. Milk, carbs for all three meals, late night snacks, decrease in activity. The sluggish feeling became overwhelming. The clear thinking I have had from deeply breathing has not only filtered out unnecessary thoughts and slowed down my pace of speech, but it has given me clear and concise communication with the part of my brain that tells me when I am hungry and/or thirsty and what nutrients I actually need to fuel my body. I am listening intently as I gather what I need. The bag of Cadbury eggs in my fridge are not being touched [as often] as I thought they would be. They may just last until Winter…. don’t worry about the amount I bought. That’s not of importance. Fruits and veggies and water are once again, the biggest part of my diet. I crave cherries like I craved cookies. My breaths allow me to really feel my lungs expand and my heart beat at an appropriate rate. I feel the beating getting stronger everyday. My own heart is regaining it’s strength due to my breaths lengthening, inhibiting my mind to decide accurately what it is I need to put in my body to make this function last.


 

I have learned and accepted, that I can’t breathe deeply every single breath of every single moment of every day, but I can come back to deep breathing when I have stopped doing whatever it is that takes the focus of mind.

Such as conversations, being in the moment with friends, laughing, watching suspenseful movies, and even sleeping. Educating clients, reading a book. There are some things I do, where I just don’t think about my breathing. Although my breathing is no longer shallow like it used to naturally be, it is not as naturally deep as I had hoped. Although, can every breath be naturally so deep, comparable to meditation? Would we then be focused so hard on breathing that we actually get pulled away from being in the moment? That aspect was never my goal. Although, because I have spent every possible moment in these last thirty days, giving attention to my breath, I have learned that I am now spending half my time awake giving an in depth rise and fall of my rib cage, full expansion to my diaphragm, and a piece of mind to my body. I am less toxic on a cellular level, which in turn frees my mind, endocrine system, and skin of toxicity.

When I am engaged in something active, whether it be a soccer game, conversing with workmates and friends, indulged in books and movies, or exercising, although my breath is not actively opening up as when I am focused, it is opening much, much more, than it used to. My natural breath is now three times deeper than it used to be. I am calmer as a person in all aspects of my life. I am more confident without having nonsensical anxiety and worrisome thoughts. I take the time in all I do. I no longer rush my days. I no longer stir my brew of self-sabotage mixed with ingredients of time, fear, attention, and perfection.

 

This challenge has been one to remember forever. It has undoubtedly, answered the questions I could never have answered for me. It has forced me to look within not with shame, but acceptance and patience. It has allowed me to conquer aspects of myself I feared I would never be able to do. It has taught me that nothing about ourselves is permanent and we can improve our spirits in anyway we seem fit; all we have to do is commit.

I am twenty four mortal years old and am learning things I have not learned in all the others years my soul has walked this Earth. It’s humbling, it’s enlightening, and it’s moving. Thank you for allowing me to share this 30 day challenge experience with you. As always, I encourage you to venture on a 30 day challenge of your own! Big or small, physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental – challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone is one of the best experiences we can give ourselves. We thrive, we grow, and even surprise ourselves along the way.

We are all strong and wonderful.
Challenge yourself, today.

Another Historical Moment in the New Millennium

It’s no hidden fact, that since the beginning of our new millennium, we have made monumental moments in our history that have been captivating,

In 2001, the first iPod was introduced by Apple, Inc. and it was a month before that we had a terrorist attack on our nation and Historical Afghan cliff carvings of the Buddhas are blown up after the Taliban deems them idolatrous.
In 2002, Banksy smuggles one of his own works into Tate Britain: The nation’s favorite graffiti artist, Bansky, smuggles one his pieces into Tate Britain; earning himself a place in the art establishment
In 2004, Facebook was launched by Mark Zuckerberg
In 2005, YouTube was created and Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans
2006 brought us Planet Earth, The God Delusion, and our first E-Reader by Sony.
Paul McCartney proved anyone can be a record label, even Starbucks, when he signed in 2007.
The year of 2008 brought us our first black President of the United States
Pop Icon, Michael Jackson passed away in 2009.
NASA took its final mission in 2011.
We survived the apocalypse on December 21, 2012
The Selfie, The Belfie, “Bae”, Instagram, Snapchat, iPads, Facetime, Radio on the Go…….


Now, in 2015, we have yet again, made our mark in history as a wide clan of humanity. We have given evidence to show what it means to be united and stand together as one. Different parties have come together, different religions have come together, and different generations… have come together. We have the done the undoable and accomplished the accomplishable….

Supreme Court has ruled in favor of gay marriage in all 50 states. 


White House Turns to Rainbow
photo credit: Mladen Antonov


A display of the colors as shown: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
That is seven colors that correlates not just the number, but the order, in which our Chakras run. (Root, Hara, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye, Crown).

Coincidence? Nothing is coincidence.

The colors are based off the the order and creation of the natural phenomena, the rainbow. (Notice how “rainbow”, in itself, is seven letters long?) The rainbow appears after rainfall and is said to be God’s promise to mankind that he won’t ever again, flood the Earth. The rainbow is a sign of promise, peace, growth, love, opportunity, cherishment, and love. These seven colors literally, run from the shade before it into the shade following it. The red fades into orange, fades into yellow, fades into green; all the way until the indigo fades into violet (our crown chakra, that when opened, gives us ultimate, open communication with the Divine), shining so brightly, that as the violet sheds those sweet purple and lavender hues, they become filled more with pinks; bringing us back full circle to a bold and leading red.

7 Colors
7 Letters
7 Dominating Chakras through the center of our body.

There is no denying that the message of the rainbow has clearly been lost throughout society as we have grown in less than favorable ways throughout the centuries of occupying Mother Earth. But here it is, again, forcing us to open our ways. Forcing us to pay attention to the moral laws set forth by powers greater than we will ever know. We are made of the components that the message brings. We were made up of all the colors that run in and out of each other. One color is every color and no color is no such thing. It proves the connection among all living things.


The ruling came on June 26th, 2015 from a very close 5-4 ruling in the Supreme Court, denying every state the power to prohibit same sex couples seeking marriage. The moment the gavel came down in favor of the marriage rights, it was instantly legal; giving every gay man and lesbian woman the right to enjoy their marriage rights that every opposite-sex couple has enjoyed for thousands of years. Obama gives a pretty straight forward speech in this short video here.

Said President Obama on the night of the ruling, “This is a great step toward our March in equality.” And he couldn’t be more right. The Defense of Marriage Act was denied in 2013 by the Supreme Court, after millions of eager citizens were waiting to hear the news on what their future of freedom would hold for them. Millions of people have fought blood, sweat, and tears to make this moment happen. They have endured name calling, unlawful physical attacks, hate messages, judgements, disownment from families and friends, and even the development of fear. They have stayed true to themselves through the fire as they walked across the coals of other people’s wrath and envy. People are born with bravery. It’s a quality one develops.

Our country has much to learn about the concept of courage, bravery, and integrity. For so many years, people have taken it upon themselves to play God. They have taken ownership of the right to judge others, sentence others, condemn others; just because they believe in different views.

There are some things, I can only shake my head at, such as the outcries of our nation’s senators and political figures. Which is when I turn to the man who has taken my response to these people, right out of my mouth and in doing so, has allowed me to laugh with millions who also viewed this treat on Monday, June 29th.


 

LET THIS BE KNOWN AMERICA:

YOU ARE NOT BETTER OR WORSE THAN THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU. 

YOU DO NOT OWN THE RIGHT TO JUDGE ANYBODY OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF.  

YOU DO NOT OWN THE RIGHT TO CONDEMN THOSE WHO SEE DIFFERENTLY.


Absolutely adorable is when kids are asked their views. Now, kids are literally a by-product of their parents and daily environment. They speak their mind because they are pure of heart. They see things a number of adults don’t see because they haven’t lost their depth of imagination. They understand things a number of adults do not, because they love wholeheartedly. So when asked what their opinion is of gay marriage, they said this.


 

This picture below, is what it looks like when the nonbelievers utilize the space in between their arms for accepting individual thought and lifestyle, instead of utilizing it to hold onto their pride.

The White House is blanketed in rainbow colors symbolizing
photo credit: Molly Riley


 

quote from Obama on Gay Marriage

Obama said the ruling was the “consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up, who came out, who talked to parents — parents who loved their children no matter what. Folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts and stayed strong and came to believe in themselves and who they were, and slowly made an entire country realize that love is love.”


 

Gaining support in this triumph is ever growing. Even churches are beginning to recognize the strength and beauty in opening their minds to accept other beliefs as genuine individual thought. “If we were all the same, we’d all be eating at Taco Bell,” my mom always says. And she is right. How boring would that be if we all thought and lived and ate the same? Diversity is what America was made for. Against what Senator Ted Cruz thinks, it is exactly, what our founding fathers wanted for our country.

Life. 
Liberty.
Equality.
Freedom.
Pursuit of Happiness.

Deep Breathing Challenge, Day #14

It is Day 14 now: 

I am two weeks into my commitment to deep breathing for thirty full days. As you know, I took on this challenge to see if anything would positively impact my way of life. So far, I have yawned a whole bunch, my chronic hiccups have diminished, my Intercostals have been working out the knots in the muscles on their own, I have successfully gained control of my vocal pace, volume, thought output, and I have sweat a whole ton of toxins out of my body.

1. Sleeping

I would be lying if I said that I was good enough to consciously deep breathe while sleeping, and because I am already a vivid, tuned in, and lucid dreamer; I can’t really say that I am taking up awareness to my breathing depending on what I am dreaming about. I still twitch and move in my sleep, as well as make some weird faces. Sometimes I still wake up in a pool of sweat or my beau will hear me moaning and groaning like I’m having a deep conversation in my dreaming world, but what I have noticed about sleeping from my deep breathing is the length of time it takes me to go to sleep. It doesn’t take long. I have slept deep and thorough. Sometimes, too thorough to the point where I could and would spend all day sleeping if I didn’t have to get up for work and let me tell you, it feels soooo good when I wake up! Last night, I fell asleep watching a movie with Danny and woke up at 10:30pm telling him I was just preparing to take Zai out and feed her breakfast before I get ready for work. Realizing what time it really was, I was elated knowing that a) it was still nighttime and b) I could go back to sleep and finish enjoying the dream I had woken up from. The two hours I had slept had given me such deep and purified energy that I was ready for the day to begin, BEFORE IT EVEN HIT MIDNIGHT!! Everytime I fall asleep, I sleep deep. That’s not unusual for me. But the length of time it usually takes for me to fall asleep is almost an hour, if not more than that.

I have a weakness for insomnia. And when I am deep breathing all evening and after mindfully chewing my food and mindfully taking my dog out for her nighttime potty, I get to mindfully lay in bed and put my waking day to rest for seven hours of restful sleep.

2. Calm, Cool, and Collected

Now, before I get started – this isn’t to say that I don’t ever get mad about something I feel is an important conversation. Last Tuesday night, I lost my cool, completely. I was very passionate about my side of opinion on a touchy subject. I defended my end with no apologies. I cried a lot, and it took a couple days of almost complete silence, zero appetite for food, and no physical touching, for me to decide where exactly it was that I fit in this whole scheme of things. That being said, I unleashed every dark side of me. I had a “now or never” moment and knew that it was either then I would forgive every piece of my past, every mental and emotional fear I have, and everything I’ve ever held in; or I would sit with it forever, allowing the person I loved the most to never get a genuine chance to see why I lived the way I did and why certain things affect me as they do. The scariest part of being with someone is showing them every beautiful, whimsical, terrifying, ugly, wonderful, brave, and courageous piece of you.

Deep breathing has given me a chance prior and post that experience, to remain so calm, that Danny has asked me multiple times, if I am okay. Since I’m not talking fast and I’m not speaking loudly, and I’m not talking about every tiny insignificant detail on my mind, I am sitting with my thoughts (which, deep breath after another, seem to be little thanks to the natural filtering process my instincts have taken on). When I speak, it’s with the intention to have conversation or to communicate with meaning; instead of talking to hear the sound of my voice.

Being calm has given me a better understanding on the World and myself. Things that make shake my head that I have done in the past and hopeful reactions I will have in the future. My eyes have been opened to something so special. My life has been so full of loud noises, chaotic moments, for so long and it hasn’t been until these last 4 years of awakening and learning zen, peace, and meditation, that I have really honed myself in myself. 

Utilizing my newfound state of my mind, I am appreciating the observant side in myself. Talking less has given me the peace to be quiet. It has given me the respect and appreciation of what it means to be quiet. Not having an opinion on every bit of thing is freeing! I never knew it could be that way. Not sharing my experiences or memories when someone is trying to genuinely share something great about their lives is joyful and exciting and an eye opener. Realizing how rude I’ve probably been for so long. It’s enlightening and a beautiful change to accept from within. To listen is a beautiful gift. I don’t just know this now, but I truly appreciate this now. 
I hope you all have enjoyed my update for this week. Peace be with all of you!

Deep Breathing Challenge, Day 7

And so the challenge continues!

I will tell you, that first of all, paying attention to your breathing is actually a lot harder than it seems.

It is Day #7:

My body has gotten over yawning and I have started to naturally breathe a lot deeper. I worked on my own ribs the other night and the knots that have accrued in my Intercostals have started to dissipate, which is completely unexpected of this challenge.

There have a been a few things I have noticed during this first week of the challenge:

1. Reduction in my tone of voice

I have a natural inclination to speak loudly, as if I am whispering through a megaphone. It’s a really unflattering quality I have, and have been told more than enough times throughout my life, “You don’t have to yell. I am right here.” Thank God for those people (which is the majority of people I have met), because without their observations, I would never take up an awareness to my vocal volume. One week into this challenge, and I am noticing the wonderful affect that deep breathing has on my tone of voice. Because I am taking the time to take deep breaths, my body is actually developing an awareness to naturally bring down the level of my volume. Now, this is something I had hoped to accomplish from this challenge, although I wasn’t really sure if it would happen or not. But this is the point of challenges! To see how something affects you and if it is something that works for you or against you. It’s a time to develop or strengthen healthy habits and dissolve unhealthy ones. I am really happy about this accomplishment, and just like the fear I used to have of never going to have pretty nails because of my feverish addiction to bite them into nubs – I am finally working through a lifetime weakness that has prohibited me in many ways; the biggest one: being taken seriously. The fact that my tone is on a better-leveled playing field, I am noticing that people are more inclined to keep eye contact with me and listening to what I am saying, versus just waiting for the chance to tell me to shut up.

2. Deeper breathing = Less words

Among my volume, I am noticing that I am talking much, much less. Because of deep breathing, I am giving myself the time to think clearly about what I want to say and how I want to say it. I am able to filter out unnecessary and/or foolish commentary, before I speak. It allows me to process my thoughts by slowing down my speech to an appropriate pace when having conversations, and gives the recipient(s) a sincere chance to listen to what I’m saying. I suppose it’s a common misconception to think that if one speaks faster, it would almost force people to listen more intently; however, did you know it actually enables them to drown out your words with their own thoughts?

Speaking quickly not only cuts off somebody’s attention span, but is considered in some countries to be unbecoming of a person to not let the conversation be equal. We are more inclined to just talk and talk and talk and rant when we speak fast; just getting lost in our own words. The worst part is that, the conversations don’t last as long because once you’re done, the person has lost interest and the exchange is a lot less meaningful.

According to PsyBlog, Understand Your Mind,  between the years of 1976 and 1980’s two studies were taken about the effects of speech rate and whether or not the audience was more inclined to listen thoroughly. By the 1990’s, a balanced speech factor had newly emerged into the information of millions. The basis of this information is the issue of persuasion. When an audience heard information about a topic they disagreed with, they had more time to produce counter-arguments if the speaker spoke a slower speech rate, whereas speaking a faster rate would give them less time to come up with a counter argument and giving the speaker an increased chance of persuasion. Now if the audience is listening to something they do agree with, there is less time for them to evaluate your words and agree with your thoughts when the message comes in too quickly. But, when it comes in slow, they have sufficient time to evaluate the arguments, agree and be even more persuaded by your thoughts.

Another super interesting article I came across is from Cobalt Communication. Author, Andrew Lightheart, states that speaking slower gives you more control, and when taking deeper breaths to control your pace, it gives a positive impact on your emotions! Actually being able to control your nerves and adrenaline. Very cool. This article isn’t just informational, it’s a very good read.

3. Sweating more often

Another observation I have made is that of my sweat glands. I can literally feel the pores of my body opening up and the persperation pouring out. The toxins in my body filter through my blood stream much more efficiently, and the feeling of release has never felt so good! I can only imagine how good I will feel at the end of this challenge. At that point, my diaphram will be trained and strengthened to carry on the healthy habit. It’s also an interesting twist that my phermones are changing in scent. Because of the toxins in the layers of integument are releasing, my body is producing more of the healthy bacteria and oils, which ultimately, increases the purification of all organisms throughout the body. From the nucleas, all the way to the outside pore, and everything in between – the molecules change their overall scent.

These are the three biggest things this first week that I have noticed. I have twenty-three days to go and I am so excited to see where it takes me on this journey. Thank you for keeping up with me. I hope this inspires you in return to challenge yourself with something you have been interested in.